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2024 quarterback schedule: When Colts could face Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, C.J. Stroud, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen this season

The Colts open the 2024 season with C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. 

EJ Speed

First things first, a disclaimer: Mid-May is too early to know which starting quarterbacks the Colts will face in their 17 regular season games.

The Colts face four teams that drafted a quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft last month: The Chicago Bears in Week 3, (Caleb Williams, No. 1), the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9 (J.J. McCarthy, No. 10), the New England Patriots in Week 13, (Drake Maye, No. 3) and the Denver Broncos in Week 15 (Bo Nix, No. 12). Will all those quarterback be Week 1 starters? Will they make their NFL debuts some time in the middle of the season? Or will some teams opt for a sit-and-learn strategy with their respective quarterbacks of the future?

We'll see. Other teams will be without their Week 1 starter throughout the season either due to injury or performance – the Colts, in 2023, faced backups in games against the Cincinnati Bengals (Joe Burrow/Jake Browning) and Las Vegas Raiders (Jimmy Garoppolo/Aidan O'Connell). The Tennessee Titans started Ryan Tannehill in Week 5 and Will Levis in Week 13 in their two AFC South matchups against the Colts, too.

But now that we know the Colts' 2024 schedule, let's take a look at quarterbacks they can expect – but aren't guaranteed – to face this coming fall:

Week 1: vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m. (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Starter: C.J. Stroud

  • 2023 stats: 15 starts, 4,108 yards, 8.2 yards/attempt, 23 TDs, 5 INTs, 100.8 passer rating
  • Backups: Case Keenum, Davis Mills, Tim Boyle

Stroud posted his second-highest passer rating (134.1) of his rookie season in the Texans' Week 18 AFC South-clinching win over the Colts, completing 20 of 26 passes for 264 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Week 2: @ Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. (Lambeau Field)

Starter: Jordan Love

  • 2023 stats: 17 starts, 4,159 yards, 7.2 yards/attempt, 32 TDs, 11 INTs, 96.1 passer rating
  • Backups: Sean Clifford, Michael Pratt

The Packers handed the keys to their franchise to the 25-year-old Love last year after trading Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, and Love quarterbacked Green Bay to the playoffs and a wild card round victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Amazingly, the Packers might've done it again – this is the same franchise that successfully pulled off transitioning from Brett Favre (1992-2007) to Rodgers (2008-2022), and now to Love (2023-present).

Week 3: vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Starter: Caleb Williams

  • 2023 stats (USC): 12 starts, 3,633 yards, 9.4 yards/attempt, 30 TDs, 5 INTs, 170.1 passer rating (college formula)
  • Backups: Tyson Agent, Brett Rypien, Austin Reed

Williams will step into an offensive infrastructure unlike any we've seen from a quarterback picked No. 1 overall in recent memory. With a solid offensive line and weapons all over the field – running back D'Andre Swift, wide receivers Keenan Allen, D.J. Moore and Rome Odunze and tight end Cole Kmet – it'll be fascinating to see how Williams' rookie year plays out.

Take a look back through previous matchups with our 2024 opponents.

Week 4: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Starter: Russell Wilson

  • 2023 stats (Broncos): 15 starts, 3,070 yards, 6.9 yards/attempt, 26 TDs, 8 INTs, 98.0 passer rating
  • Backups: Justin Fields, Kyle Allen, John Rhys Plumlee

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said this offseason the team's plan is to start Wilson, who signed as a free agent this offseason after being released by the Denver Broncos. But Pittsburgh also acquired Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears, so this one will be notable to track ahead of the Colts welcoming the Steelers to Lucas Oil Stadium for the third consecutive season.

Week 5: @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. (EverBank Field)

Starter: Trevor Lawrence

  • 2023 stats: 16 starts, 4,016 yards, 7.1 yards/attempt, 21 TDs, 14 INTs, 88.5 passer rating
  • Backups: Mac Jones, C.J. Beathard

Only one quarterback – Washington's Sam Howell – had more turnover-worthy plays than Lawrence (26) in 2023, per Pro Football Focus, but his 35 "big-time" throws (another PFF stat) were behind only Dak Prescott and Josh Allen. Still, Lawrence is 4-2 in his career against the Colts, and he's widely regarded as one of the NFL's better young quarterbacks around the league.

Week 6: @ Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. (Nissan Stadium)

Starter: Will Levis

  • 2023 stats: 9 starts, 1,808 yards, 7.1 yards/attempt, 8 TDs, 4 INTs, 84.2 passer rating
  • Backups: Mason Rudolph, Malik Willis

The strong-armed Levis had a couple of standout moments after taking over as QB1 for Ryan Tannehill in Week 7 of the 2023 season. His four-touchdown torching of the Atlanta Falcons was one of the most impressive NFL debuts in recent memory, and he engineered a remarkable last-minute comeback against the playoff-bound Miami Dolphins in Week 14. The Titans made a splash in free agency with wide receiver Calvin Ridley and running back Tony Pollard, and then added Alabama tackle J.C. Latham with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Week 7: vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Starter: Tua Tagovailoa

  • 2023 stats: 17 starts, 4,624 yards (led NFL), 8.3 yards/attempt, 29 TDs, 14 INTs, 101.1 passer rating
  • Backups: Mike White, Skylar Thompson, Gavin Hardison

Over two seasons with head coach Mike McDaniel, Tagovailoa is averaging 272 yards per game and has 54 touchdowns in 30 starts. Tagovailoa started all 17 games in 2023, showing he can stay healthy for a full season, and with speed merchants all over the field – wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, plus running backs Raheem Mostert, De'von Achane and Jaylen Wright – the Dolphins will bring one of the NFL's most explosive offenses to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Week 8: @ Houston Texans, 1 p.m. (NRG Stadium)

Week 9: @ Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. (U.S. Bank Stadium)

Starter: Sam Darnold/J.J. McCarthy

  • 2023 stats (Darnold): 1 start, 297 yards, 6.5 yards/attempt, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 85.1 passer rating
  • 2023 stats (McCarthy, Michigan): 15 starts (won national championship), 2,991 yards, 9.0 yards/attempt, 22 TDs, 4 INTs, 167.4 passer rating (college formula)
  • Backups: Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall

McCarthy will have to compete with Darnold to start as a rookie, and the Vikings were aggressive in signing Darnold – the 2018 No. 3 overall pick – as a free agent this spring. Eventually, McCarthy will start for the Vikings, but it's a question of when, not if.

Week 10: vs. Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Starter: Josh Allen

  • 2023 stats: 17 starts, 4,306 yards, 7.4 yards/attempt, 29 TDs, 18 INTs, 92.2 passer rating
  • Backups: Mitch Trubisky, Shane Buechele

Allen faced the Colts just once over his first six seasons in the NFL, and he was on the losing end of a 41-15 blowout in Orchard Park in 2021 (that was Jonathan Taylor's five-touchdown game). Don't let that result fool you, though – Allen is one of the NFL's brightest stars, and he's had a hand in 174 touchdowns (passing, rushing, receiving) over the last four seasons.

Week 11: @ New York Jets, 8:20 p.m. (MetLife Stadium)

Starter: Aaron Rodgers

  • 2023 stats: 1 start
  • Backups: Tyrod Taylor, Jordan Travis, Andrew Peasley, Colby Suits

Rodgers, the 40-year-old four-time NFL MVP, will attempt a comeback of a torn Achilles that ended his season just a few plays into his first season with the New York Jets. This'll be just the fifth time Rodgers has faced the Colts in his career, and he's 1-3 in his previous four starts.

Go back to school with Anthony Richardson, DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart during the shoot for the 2024 schedule release video.

Special thanks to Mrs. Cook's 2nd grade class at Snacks Crossing Elementary!

Week 12: vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Starter: Jared Goff

  • 2023 stats: 17 starts, 4,575 yards, 7.6 yards/attempt, 30 TDs, 12 INTs, 97.9 passer rating
  • Backups: Hendon Hooker, Nate Sudfeld

Goff led the Lions to the brink of their first-ever Super Bowl appearance in 2023 and has thrown for over 4,400 yards in each to he last two seasons. Since being acquired along with several draft picks in exchange for Matthew Stafford, Goff has become an embodiment not just of the way the Lions want to play, but the for the attitude of the city of Detroit.

Week 13: @ New England Patriots, 1 p.m. (Gillette Stadium)

Starter: Jacoby Brissett/Drake Maye

  • 2023 stats (Brissett): 3 games, 224 yards, 9.7 yards/attempt, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 146.8 passer rating
  • 2023 stats (Maye, UNC): 12 starts, 3,608 yards, 8.5 yards/attempt, 24 TDs, 9 INTs, 149.0 passer rating (college formula)
  • Backups: Bailey Zappe, Nathan Rourke, Joe Milton III

We'll see if the Patriots feel the best path for Maye, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, is to sit and learn or start and gain experience as a rookie. Brissett last was a regular starter in 2022 for the Cleveland Browns, and of course, before that he appeared in 46 games (30 starts) for the Colts from 2017-2020.

Week 14: BYE WEEK

Week 15: @ Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m. (Empower Field at Mile High)

Starter: Bo Nix/Jarrett Stidham

  • 2023 stats (Stidham): 2 starts, 496 yards, 7.5 yards/attempt, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 87.7 passer rating
  • 2023 stats (Nix, Oregon): 14 starts, 4,508 yards, 9.5 yards/attempt, 45 TDs, 3 INTs, 188.3 passer rating (college formula)
  • Backup: Zach Wilson

Stidham started the last two games of the 2023 season for Denver, and Nix will have to compete with him and Wilson – who was acquired from the Jets prior to the draft – to be the Broncos' QB1 this season. Nix brings plenty of collegiate experience to Sean Payton's quarterback room, though, with the former Auburn and Oregon product throwing for 15,352 yards over 61 games.

Week 16: vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Week 17: @ New York Giants, TBD (MetLife Stadium)

Starter: Daniel Jones

  • 2023 stats: 6 starts, 909 yards, 5.7 yards/attempt, 2 TDs, 6 INTs, 70.5 passer rating
  • Backups: Drew Lock, Tommy DeVito

Jones is coming off a torn ACL that ended his 2023 season in Week 9, and he dealt with a neck injury that limited to only six games. Jones, though, led the Giants to the playoffs in 2023 with an NFL-low 1.1 percent interception rate. The Giants also brought in Drew Lock, who started 23 games for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks from 2019-2023, as a free agent who could wind up competing with Jones to start in 2024.

Week 18: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, TBD (Lucas Oil Stadium)


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